Kelly’s Got A New Board
“The minimal amount of board to do the maximum amount of surfing.” – Kelly Slater
Since the beginning of his reign, King Kelly has been obsessed with pushing the performance level of surfboards. In the ’90s through early 2000s, that meant stretching his boards over 6 feet, filleting them to 17-something wide by low-2 thick, and giving them a parabolic curve. Through the mid-2000s Kelly found his surfboard sweet-spot, riding CI’s in proportion to his own frame, between 5’8-5’10 and upwards of 18 inches in width.
Then came 2008 — AKA Slater’s year of Enlightenment. After an R&D boat trip with Benji Weatherley, Slater fell in love with a miniaturized rocket with a pulled-in tail and full nose — a board Benji deemed the Wizard Sleeve because it surfed so loose. Slater then brought a slightly bigger version of the Wizard Sleeve to Hawaii and won the Pipe Masters in solid Backdoor conditions. At this time it was uncommon to see someone ride a small board (5’11”) successfully in such big, hollow waves.
That moment had a massive impact on the future of tube-based surfboard design, and was the start of Slater’s tumble down the small-board rabbit hole.
Over the coming years, Slater toyed with an array of shortened (and alternative construction) crafts, eventually parting with long-tome sponsor Channel Islands in order to form his own surfboard brand, Slater Designs, with the help of experimental board builder Daniel ‘Tomo’ Thompson. In 2016 Slater Designs released its first two models — the Omni and Sci-Fi — followed by the Gamma in 2017, each of which had unconventional features and was intended to be ridden shorter than the surfer’s height.
Then, today, Slater released his fourth (and potentially weirdest) design to date. Watch the video and read below to learn about the Cymatic from the King himself.
From Kelly: #Cymatic(s) is the study of wave phenomena, esp sound, and their visual representations. YouTube it to see the shapes that sounds of differing frequencies will create in sand on a metal plate (if you find the @slaterdesigns logo let me know the Hz frequency). @tomo_surfboards and I had this idea to make a board that fits the ‘vibration’ of a wave in our minds. The minimal amount of board to do the maximum amount of surfing. We chopped the nose off ahead of the rail line you need and went with a pretty wide battail (like the SciFi model). With the added bite of the channels the tail still holds while giving plenty of lift. This edit is from one session at Haleiwa in January. I actually took the board there as a joke that day cause it was too big for what I thought it could handle. I got my best rides earlier that session but this @peterkingphoto edit gives you an idea. This is a four fin 5’3” X 18-5/8 X 2-5/16” X 25.5L. I don’t want to ride anything else right now and everyone who rides it wants to take it off my hands. #SoFunYeah?
Read some more or (if you’re the impulsive type) order one here.
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